May 22, 2020
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TOPLINE Amazon has decided to reschedule its annual Prime Day sales extravaganza to September, the Wall Street Journal has reported, as the Covid-19 pandemic increases demand on the company’s warehouses.
Prime Day is an Amazon sales event that has been held in July since the company introduced it in 2015.
Amazon bosses made the call to push the event back by two months this year to avoid heaping additional strains on its warehouses and delivery network as it struggles with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Since March, Amazon has prioritized delivering “essential” items, like health products, cleaning supplies and food items with long shelf lives, though the company is slowly making progress toward resuming faster delivery of a wider selection, sources told The Wall Street Journal.
Reuters said in April that Prime Day had been pushed back to at least August, at a reported cost of $100 million.
Amazon is also taking steps toward reinstating more one-day deliveries.
Amazon revenue jumped in the first quarter to $75.5 billion thanks to a rush of online orders as much of the world’s population found themselves under stay-at-home orders. However, increases in the cost of hiring, hazard pay and shipping put a dent in profits and Amazon’s net income fell nearly 30% compared to last year, causing the giant to fall short of its earnings targets, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Amazon’s billionaire CEO Jeff Bezos has come under fire after reports emerged that the company has disciplined and even fired workers who raised concerns about health and safety in company warehouses during the pandemic. At least seven Amazon employees have died of Covid-19.
“We respect the rights of employees to protest and recognize their legal right to do so, but these rights do not provide blanket immunity against bad actions, particularly those that endanger the health, well-being or safety of their colleagues,” Amazon spokesperson Deborah Bass told Forbes in a statement. She added that the company expects to spend around $4 billion between April and June on Covid-19 related plans to keep employees safe and get products in customers’ hands.